My First Cake Disaster... Please Help My Tears Slow Down..

Decorating By Moniquea Updated 4 Jul 2010 , 3:36am by CBMom

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Moniquea Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:06am
post #1 of 30

The cake was simple. Two tiers, ganache drip and real roses... the problem - whipped cream filling on a hot day...

It was so pretty (although I put too much ganache icon_wink.gif ) They didn't have room in their frig (wedding at home) and didn't have A/C... I came back to collect the balance and she called to say the cake was cracked and the back was falling... icon_eek.gif I saw it was leaning before but I thought she was exageratting... sure enough I ruined a brides dream cake with my ambition of three layers of strawberries and whipped cream... Of course I'd mentioned before it needed to be cold and I would need space in the frig but I didn't ask when I got there as the kitchen was busy with food prep for the guests. Besides, I wasn't about to throw that in her face on her wedding day.

She was upset and I regretfully had to ask for at least half of my balance for my time and ingrediants... not to mention the roses I'd just paid for... needless to say I lost money...

To save it I went to the grocery store and purchased another similar but plain and had my husband drive like a maniac to my location with my ganache to recreate the drip on the bought cake... Her family was very critical and unforgiving... what's more it is the sister of a coworker....

I'm so glad I have a place to go where people will understand me... Thanks for listening. I feel better already..

29 replies
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ras3 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:21am
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My deepest condolences, cake and fillings are fickle mistresses. Add humidity and uncooperative customers and it is really a miracle that we can force sugar and flour into impossible towers of artistry.

I know it's difficult but don't be too hard on yourself, at least you aren't spilling millions of gallons of oil into the gulf.

Perfect cake blessing for your future.

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Chris6703 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:22am
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I'm so-o sorry ((((hugs))))

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kimmisue2009 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:28am
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Ya know, I have been a bride. I am pretty spoiled. But I can tell you, big fat honking wedding or not, I could never ever be a part of making someone cry, knowing that someone put as much time and effort into something for me as you obviously did for that person. Things happen. It was a friggin' cake. I am so so so sorry for your pain and it makes me angry at people I don't even know for acting like that over CAKE!

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ErikaK Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:33am
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I'm so sorry you had to deal with that! You did tell her it needed to be kept cold, and you did buy the replacement cake, and you bought the roses, (I have my customers order their own flowers)! You are out time and ingredients plus the cost of a grocery store cake and you and your husband's gas for transportation! The family should have been a bit more forgiving seeing as they failed to keep it cold as you requested. This is where a contract would come in handy... even if it is just a list of rules on set up, maintenance, transportation, etc. You told them the cake needed to be cold, they did not listen, seems like you handled it with as much grace as possible. I am sorry the sister is a co-worker! Best of Luck to you in the future and may you have understanding customers!

oh yes, make sure you have the customer read AND SIGN below all the rules, etc.!

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aej6 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:33am
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Hang in there!

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tastyart Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:37am
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I'm so sorry. That must have been a terribly uncomfortable situation. My great aunt always says that "this too shall pass." Try to put it behind you. It's not your fault that the cake melted. They should have known better than to have a cake like that left out. Something about the laws of physics. Not even a wedding can keep things from melting in the heat.

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tesso Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:51am
post #8 of 30

sending huge cyber hugs your way... HUGS !!! for now...

later you will get the lecture on contracts and making the bride pay for the flowers.. but that is later..

right now you are getting more hugs.. and a tissue..your nose is dripping. icon_wink.gificon_smile.gif hugs dear.

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CindiM Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 3:04am
post #9 of 30

I am sorry this happened to your cake. I have at the bottom of my contract "No refunds after delivery", I tell my customers, "you have to eat it"! Then I give them my evil smile!

Don't hold yourself responsible because they didn't have A/C or room to keep it cool. I have people who were told the cake needs shade and or air conditioning, put my cakes in the full sun on the beach. And I say, Good luck as I drive away!

You are blessed to have the talent to make something that makes other people happy. They just didn't happen to be happy people.

I know it is hard to let it go. You are not perfect. No one is!

Now take a nap, drink some tea or what ever relaxes you and dry up those tears. Some day you will look back on that cake and laugh about the strawberries trying to escape the whipped cream and the ganache! I am sure it was YUMMY!

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cheatize Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 5:30am
post #10 of 30

YOU didn't ruin a thing. THEY did.
This kind of stuff ticks me off. They were told, they decided (with all their vast experience-NOT!) that they knew more than you.
When it all goes to he**, YOU get crap for it?
It ain't right. It just ain't right.

I watched a fool place an unboxed sheet cake (too big for a box with all the decos on it) on his wife's lap last weekend. He didn't even get it all the way in the truck before he bashed the corner of it against the dash. I did a 20 second fix on it, wished them luck, and walked away. I told them, in writing, days before how to transport it.

It's not our doing, but it turns into our heartache, doesn't it?

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Moniquea Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 12:19pm
post #11 of 30

icon_biggrin.gif Thank you all so much... It really means a lot <3 Love to all of you!!!

I tried to post a pic but it didn't send from my phone and I will try again tonight... I have to work a double at my job.. with the clients sister.. icon_redface.gif sigh..

On a good note... a margarita and watching 'The Hangover' helped...

Yes, this too shall pass thumbs_up.gif Its just for now that I will have to hide the lump in my throat.

Like I told my daughter to say when she gets a boo-boo... I'm OK!!! thumbs_up.gif

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cakemom42 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 12:44pm
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Am so sorry you had such a bad time..
I was going to say a bottle of wine helps :0) but you have that covered w/the margarita!
After the pain wears off look at it from different eyes & see where you can improve for the future... I have to look at it from the businesss stand point of what can I do differently. I had a similar thing happen once & was just lucky the Bride & Groom were too drunk to notice the icing falling off!!
From that point on I have a pre-printed lable that I make saying "this cake needs to be refrigerated" I put it on the corner of the board so that anyone can see it. I also developed a signature form that list all the instructions for the cake & it has to be signed before I leave. I give one copy to them & one is for me :0)
It will all be ok, you did the right things, & you will laugh about it in the years to come :0)
Big Hugs!!

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NerdyGirl Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 1:17pm
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You can talk (or type) until you're blue in the face - and fingers - but there will always be people who don't heed what you're trying to tell them. Your fault? No. Sure, they'll try to blame you. That's when you smile because you know the truth! Stick to your guns and know you're supported in that decision.

And who the heck has a reception venue - private home or not - without A/C in June? Those poor guests! They were probably cranky because they were hot too!

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catlharper Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 5:21pm
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I always try to impress upon the clients that heat=disaster for a wedding cake. I have one coming up in July and I've reminded her 3 times SO FAR that since there is no AC that the cake will be worse for wear. I offered to stay and set it up later in the reception...basically out of the fridge in the back to the cake table for photos/cutting then cut it for them for only $25 but, nope, the MOB says that she thinks the MOH wants the honor of cutting the cake so I'm to set it up while the wedding ceremony is going on outside and then leave. This means the cake will be sitting out on the cake table in a room with no A/C at 3pm on a late July afternoon for at least an hour! YUP, fondant or not that is going to be one messy cake to cut. Poor MOH who has been volunteered up for this job...pregnant, hot and in a formal cut the cake that will have softened up. Oh well, apparently the MOB knows better than me! LOL! I will remind her at least one more time what the heat will mean to the cake and how it will be difficult to cut once it's been sitting out that long but there's nothing else I can do. My daughter, who is also a caker, will be there as a guest (and will refuse to help cut the cake) and will take photos of the debacle when it happens...LOL...I'm a HORRIBLE person! LOL! ((((HUGS))) sorry you had to take the fall for the clueless clients! Cat

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carinoscakes Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 5:59am
post #15 of 30

So sorry.. I has a bad day too. I had my first cake dissaster too..

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jackieindiana Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:36am
post #16 of 30

the way i look at it is if the bride was asked where the cake was going to be and if she knew it had to be ref. then it wasnt your fault you have to remember the when the cake was ordered this had to be dissuced and you know the kind of cake she wants is ref cake its all hers after the delivery and set up also you may want to deliver as late as possible if you can no more tears you did ok she let herself down or the cater, could have helped

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Sterretje Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 11:06am
post #17 of 30

I cannot imagine the horror you must have felt, but I'm quite sure it wasn't all the 'cake disaster' but mostly the reactions of the bride and family. I don't understand how people can react that way. Surely it's a shame when something happens to the cake, but a weddingday does not depend on the cake. The weddingcake is the icing of the day, but not the whole event! Makes you wonder how happy they really are... Anyway, it's probably bride jitters or something...
For next time a small tip: on a hot day, I always make a border of buttercream all the way around and than put the filling in the middle. Also I roll out my fondant just a bit thicker than usual. I refrigerate the cake after filling and icing, than cover it with fondant the very last possible minute. I always tell my customers to store the cake in a cool place, but never the fridge. In my experience the huge temperature difference (from fridge to heat) never does the fondant any good. It also may get humid, if you know what I mean?
Well best of luck to you! Hope you feel better, I am sure you did a wonderful job, so please don't let one bride make you feel so bad. There are far worse things in the world. icon_smile.gif

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scrabblemomof1 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 11:34am
post #18 of 30

I had my 1st cake disaster last night (nursing cake). Two bottom tiers on a 4 tier cake collapsed. 3hrs in nothing but stop and go traffic. I got to the venue and was horrified!! The place had an open kitchen so I had to fix what I could in front of all the guests! The family was SO nice and understanding about it although I cried and was a wreck! I just left I was so upset! One day we'll be able to look back and laugh. Funny thing is, I have the same exact order coming up for this Saturday! (thankfully it's only 20 mins from my house) I have learned my lesson, I am NOT traveling with an already stacked cake!

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cakesbycathy Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:16pm
post #19 of 30

You TOLD them the cake had to be cold. It is NOT your fault they didn't accomodate that requirement for the cake.


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Kellbella Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:30pm
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Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

You TOLD them the cake had to be cold. It is NOT your fault they didn't accomodate that requirement for the cake.


My thoughts exactly thumbs_up.gif

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Sassy74 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:36pm
post #21 of 30

So sorry dear! I had my first cake disaster last weekend, and I know it's hard to get past it. But get past it you will! For at least two days, try not to even THINK of cake lol ! Then, dig back in. You did what you had to do, went above and beyond to try to fix it, and weren't even responsible for the disaster to begin with. Chin up, dear!

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costumeczar Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 7:56pm
post #22 of 30

Apparently heat is an issue today...

First, you need to start getting payment in full at least two or three weeks BEFORE the cake is due. Next, if someone wants something that's going to be affected by heat during the summer, like whipped cream, an outdoor cake covered in buttercream, or cheesecake, either tell them NO or have them sign a contract/waiver/etc saying that they understand the need to keep the cake refrigerated until it's served. If you have that then you're off the hook for stupidity on their part.

I had someone yesterday tell me that they wanted whipped cream on their cake for next June, and I told her no way no how, even when her mother insisted that her wedding cake had whipping cream and it was in the summer. So what, who cares, I'm not going to do it because I know who'll get blamed when it ends badly.

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jojo76 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:01pm
post #23 of 30

oh sweatheart im so sorry, what a nightmare. Please dont feel bad, you did all you could, they did know it was supposed to be in the fridge. PLUS you got her a replacement cake and did your best to decorate it in the way the other one was. that was fabulous of you, you did not have to do that. they were ill mannered to be horrible to you when you took the second cake back. How ungrateful!!!!

Hope you feel better soon icon_smile.gif

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dozenredroses Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 12:59am
post #24 of 30

I am so sorry about the situation. I bet the cake was beautiful when you delivered it.

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steph95 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 1:44pm
post #25 of 30

I had a disaster this weekend, also. We've all been there and I feel your pain! ((((hugs)))) and please don't let this discourage you.

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SugarHighCakery Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 4:28pm
post #26 of 30

There is nothing here that I can say that has not been already said by our fellow cake decorators.

I am sorry for your experience. Don't let the attitude of some sway you for bringing joy to others on their special day. I think you did far more than some cake decorators would be willing to do in the given situation. You went above and beyond the call of duty!!

oh ya.......Contract, contract, contract... thumbs_up.gif

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sillymoo84 Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 8:02pm
post #27 of 30

it wasnt your fault at all. you can give instructions but you cannot make ppl follow them!


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andysprite Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 11:11pm
post #28 of 30

I'm so sorry! I've had a couple of disasters myself so I can sympathize. Just hold your head up and put this behind you. ((((HUGS))))

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tinygoose Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 11:35pm
post #29 of 30

I had a cake disaster once too, it can be so devastating. Temperature was my problem too, who knew it would be 90 degrees (sun beating down on the cake table) in mid November that year? I felt awful, but it happens.

I've become demanding about temperature and flat out tell them, no you can't have this cake in that environment...This cake, full, you can't do that. Also about cake pick up....."Don't bring a car full of kids, or your dog, don't squeeze it between your legs, don't hold it on your lap....etc.

Give it a few days you will feel better, sorry that happened.

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CBMom Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 3:36am
post #30 of 30

Oh...big hugs to all today {{icon_smile.gif }}

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